Finale Ligure: the limestone of Your Dreams in a Very Special Place

In the heart of the Italian Riviera, between the sea and the mountains, are the 192 sectors of Finale Ligure.

Álvaro Lafuente clipping the chains on L''URLO in Rochiadilly Circus. Photo Andrea Palazzi

Text: Álvaro Lafuente
Photos: Álvaro Lafuente, Andrea Palazzi, Andrés Falo, David Vicente (indicated in each photo)

FINALE LIGURE. A MAGICAL LAND BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE MOUNTAINS


Finale Ligure is located on the Italian Riviera, surrounded by sea and a variety of beautiful landscapes. Administratively it belongs to Liguria, a region located in the extreme north-west of Italy whose capital is Genoa.

In its vicinity there are renowned coastal towns such as Savona or Cinque Terre, and the region enjoys a rich historical and cultural heritage that for fifty years has been enriched by the 192!! open climbing sectors in the town.

Finale Ligure on the map
Finale Ligure on the map

The final walls rise with whitish and grayish tones above the lush forests of intense green that cover the hills, forming valleys with great slopes that end in the white sand of its beaches. Cliffs that drop off into the sea with castles that protect them from their height complete the territory.

Coast and castle of Finale Ligure. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Coast and castle of Finale Ligure. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente

Inland, just two kilometers from Finale Ligure, the medieval atmosphere of Finalborgo welcomes us. The bars, the aromas of “focaccia” and “farinata di cecci” from the bakeries, the restaurants with the smell of pizza and the numerous climbing and bicycle shops everywhere, give atmosphere to this small walled town.

 Door on the wall that leads to Finalborgo. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Door in the wall that leads to Finalborgo. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente

Innumerable valleys, slopes, mountains, forests and limestone walls rise, filling this place with magic. A territory that, without knowing very well why, will stay with us, and we will always remember it tenderly, perhaps for its breeze, its sunsets, the sound of the forest, or its tranquility.

Aquila Valley. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Aquila Valley. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente

Fifty years ago long multi-pitch routes began to be established. The area then followed the evolution of climbing around the world during the 20th century, and local climbers began to put up sport routes, a style that prevails today.

The beach, the beautiful forests and walls, the quality of its limestone rock, the possibility of doing other sports such as downhill cycling, high-line, hiking or caving, give color and richness to the area. The consequence is a great mix of cultures, and today the place is regularly frequented by climbers of many nationalities: Italians, Germans, Austrians, Swiss, French, Czechs...

Álvaro Lafuente in GIRA VUELTA 8a, Groto di Perti, Photo Andrea Palazzi
Álvaro Lafuente in GIRA VUELTA 8a, Groto di Perti, Photo Andrea Palazzi
Type of Climbing


The rock is limestone. Its white tones intermingle with grays and oranges. The rain and the proximity to the sea have sculpted beautiful shapes in the rocks that allow for a great variety of styles: we find technical slabs, long continuity routes on pockets, a few tufas, overhangs and roofs.

It is technical, vertical and sustained climbing, with routes ranging from forty meters, or even more, to small ledges where explosive force will be the most important thing. There are several walls of more than 100m where we will find beautiful long routes.

GANZAROLDU_ 7b+ Giulio Constantini, Grotto di Perti. Photo Andrea Palazzi
GANZAROLDU_ 7b+ Giulio Constantini, Grotto di Perti. Photo Andrea Palazzi

The average difficulty of the climbing is around the grades 5-6. But that does not mean that there are no sectors with grade seven routes and higher. The maximum grade is 8c+, and it has a large number of beautiful grade eight routes.

The good thing about the place is that, generally, wherever we go, we will find a wide variety of sectors with routes of all grades. With one exception: if we want to go to a sector with eight grades, it will not be so easy to find routes below the grade seven.

Ilaria Occhipinti in GALACTICA, 6a Photo Andrea Palazzi
Ilaria Occhipinti in GALACTICA, 6a Photo Andrea Palazzi

We can define this area as a paradise of the grades five and six. The routes are beautiful, the shapes of the rock, the holds, the routes of the lines and the landscapes make it ideal as an initiation destination.

Also, if our grade is around the seventh or eighth, we will really enjoy ourselves, since there are countless five-star routes.

Adrian Martinez in ZAMBARINIK 6c (Amphitheater).Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Adrián Martinez in ZAMBARINIK 6c (Amphitheater).Photo Álvaro Lafuente
192 Sectors!!


Finale Ligure is divided into 192 sectors!, distributed approximately in ten areas and several valleys. Therefore, we are talking about a place where the car will be highly recommended.

To go from area to area you will have to travel a few kilometers, and even between sectors you will have to walk quite a bit. As you can imagine by looking at the figures, we will not lack where to choose between routes of all grades, orientations and wall angles.

Álvaro Lafuente in SCHIZZECHEA 7a+, Lo Specchio. Photo Andrea Palazzi
Álvaro Lafuente at SCHIZZECHEA 7a+, Lo Specchio. Photo Andrea Palazzi

The approaches to the wall are not short. Many of them overcome large slopes with walks that take around twenty minutes or more, but on the other hand the paths are very comfortable and beautiful. It is a real pleasure to travel through the lush forests, but be careful: the large number of detours make it easy for us to get lost, so we must pay attention to the information signs and markings we find.

Approaching through the Finalesse forest wrapped in fog. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Approaching through the Finalesse forest shrouded in fog. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Recommended


We are adding here as a guide, classified by the climbing grade that predominates, the most characteristic sectors. Some of them are five stars and deserve a must-see.

Low to Medium Difficulty Sectors

    • Placca dell''Oasi (Roca di Perti): Shade in the morning.
    • Ombre Blu (Roca di Perti): Shade in the morning. Nice sector with long, easy routes.
    • Bric Smimarco- Superiore (Rocca Carpanea): Very nice routes up to 7c. Shade in the afternoon.
Rocca Carpanea. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Rocca Carpanea. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
    • Grotta dell''Edera (Rocca Carpanea): curious hole dug into the ground, almost a must-see, which is accessed through a cave. It has several unmissable routes. Up to 8a+. Recommended “Lubna” 7b and “Vibrazioni” 6c+
Grotta dell
Grotta dell''Edera. Photo David Vicente
    • Lo Specchio (Rocca Carpanea): nice winter area, tufa climbing.
Free- tto misto, 6c+, Lo Specchio. Photo Andrea Palazzi
Free-tto misto, 6c+, Lo Specchio. Photo Andrea Palazzi
    • Falesia del Gorilla (Aquila Valley): easy routes predominate. Shade in the morning.
    • Superpanza (Aquila Valley): it has several very nice and long 7a routes. Shade in the morning. It also has long routes.
Alvaro Lafuente climbing in Tre Frati, Aquila Valley. Alvaro Lafuente Collection
Álvaro Lafuente climbing in Tre Frati, Valle Aquila. Álvaro Lafuente Collection
    • Anfiteatro (Monte Cucco): beautiful five-star sector. Very long and beautiful roads. Shade from morning to mid-afternoon. Up to 7c+.
David Vicente raising the flag in the beautiful Anfiteatro sector, Route _ULTIMA VIA_ 6c.Photo Alvaro La
David Vicente in the beautiful Anfiteatro sector, Route _ULTIMA VIA_ 6c.Photo Alvaro Lafuente
  • Camelot (Rian Cornei): morning shade. Curious rock, interesting sector.
  • Falesia del Silenzio inferiore (Rian Cornei): nice and quiet area. Sun all day.
  • Rocca Di Corno – Zona Rossa: morning shade. Up to 7c.
Julio Constantini resting in ORDALIA 7b, Grotto di Perti. Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Julio Constantini resting in ORDALIA 7b, Grotto di Perti. Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Sectors With Medium to High Difficulty

    • Grotto Di Perti (Roca di Perti): a must-see. Shade all day. Very nice routes on roofs and overhanging faces. One of the coolest sectors. Recommended “Gira Vuelta” 8ª and “Commodino” 7b.
Alvaro Lafuente in GIRA VUELTA 8a (Grotto di Perti) Photo Andres Falo
Alvaro Lafuente in GIRA VUELTA 8a (Grotto di Perti) Photo Andres Falo
  • Alveare (Rocca Carpanea): very beautiful and difficult routes. Shade in the morning. Some easy routes. Up to 8c+.
  • Bric Pianarella – Sett. Altro Livello (Aquila Valley):morning shade. Long and beautiful routes. Up to 8c, also sixth grade pathways.
  • Grottone (Monte Cucco): morning shade.
  • Ronchiadilly Circus (Rian Cornei): shade all day. Very beautiful routes. The L''urlo 8b route is 5 stars and Malafemmina 7b+ too.
  • Bastionata Destra Boragni (Boragni)
  • Grotta della Strapatente (Boragni)


We do not recommend any specific low-grade routes, since all the sectors recommended here have a large number of them, and they are generally all very beautiful.

Andrea Palazzi in STRAVOLGimiento PROGRESSIVE 6b+ Amphitheater. Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Andrea Palazzi in STRAVOLGimiento PROGRESSIVO 6b+ Amphitheater. Photo Alvaro Lafuente
How to Get There


From La Jonquera on the French border it is six hours by car. Finale Ligure is a good place to stop if we are going to visit Italy, since the highway entering the country from Nice passes right through here. In fact, if you look closely, you can clearly see some of its walls on the right hand side as you drive through.

Another option is to fly to Milan or Turin. From there, by car, we have 2 hours and 1 hour 30'' respectively.

From Milan you can get there by train, and once in Finale, we can rent a bicycle to go to the different sectors (it requires good physical condition, due to the significant slopes), or try hitchhiking. In both options, it must be taken into account that the sectors are not very close to each other.

In a van, for now, you can sleep perfectly wherever you want. In fact, large crowds of vans and motorhomes are set up in different places. If preferred, camping is also available. In the cemetery parking lot you must refrain from removing the table and chairs in the morning. At the moment they are not fining people, but if it gets too out of hand, one day they will.

Warning for motorhomes: small ones will have no problem accessing all the parking lots in the different sectors, but in Monte Cucco the track that accesses the parking lot is narrow and uneven, so if the motorhome is large, it is better to park on the road (just 5-10 minutes walk). For Roca Carpanea and Grotto di Perti it is better to park past the church and the castle and walk from there for about 15 minutes. For the rest, in theory there is no problem.

Finale Ligure is close to other towns, such as Borgio Verezzi (also a beautiful town) or Finale Pia, where we will also find hotels, hostels, apartments for rent or campsites.

A hands in the air by Alvaro Lafuente in SCHIZZECHEA 7a+ (Lo Specchio)
A no-hands rest by Alvaro Lafuente in SCHIZZECHEA 7a+ (Lo Specchio)
Best Time of Year


It is possible to climb all year round, although in summer it is less recommended, and you will have to look for favorable orientations to stay out of the sun.

In winter we won’t be able to enjoy the beach, but we can climb in the sun very comfortably, even in the heat.

The good thing about Finale is that it has numerous orientations with all grades to climb practically all year round. To climb 8c/+ it may be better to go in colder times, since many areas get full sun and, generally, in the sun, except in winter, it is hot.

At the end of autumn and beginning of winter some sectors will be wet or there will be quite a bit of humidity, since it rains a lot during those times. On the other hand, there will be practically no people climbing.

The best time is starting in February (looking for the sun) to early summer (looking for the shade). It all depends on the weather: the wind here is cold, and in the same month we can have very varied weather.

On the indicated dates there are significantly more people. But only in two or three famous sectors will the number of people be a problem for us to climb; mainly Grotta dell''Edera, which is small and with few routes. The rest of the sectors are generally not crowded and be climbed without being bothered.

Even so, climbing is driven by fashion. Maybe this year, Finale will go out of style and no one will go, who knows?

Andrea Palazzi at COMMODINO 7b (Grotto di Perti).Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Andrea Palazzi in COMMODINO 7b (Grotto di Perti).Photo Alvaro Lafuente
Local Food and Services


The town of Finale Ligure is quite large and has supermarkets, bus and train stations. In Finalborgo there are climbing shops, in case we forget something or have to replace it, and we can also find establishments where we can rent bicycles and find information for other activities.

In the bars of Finalborgo, when you order a beer, they give you plenty of snacks that sometimes serve as dinner (I recommend the Burgum). It also has pizzerias (I recommend pizzeria tonino 2 and Cuki''s) and many restaurants.

It is essential to try the “Focaccia” sweet bread dough filled with cheese, ham, vegetables, or the normal one, which only has oil and salt. It comes in handy to take climbing. The freshly made and hot Focaccia is to die for.

The “Farinata di cecci” (chickpea) is a dough made with chickpeas, which you also have to try.

Pizzas, as only they know how to make them, and stuffed brioches accompanying a good cappuccino for breakfast, are some of those great little pleasures of Italy that make life much better and more beautiful.

Castle of the 5 bell towers Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Castle of the five bell towers. Photo: Álvaro Lafuente
Final Conclusions


Very nice place, with many and varied routes of all grades. You will fall in love with the forests and the colors of its rocks, and the sea, its beaches, its castles, its history, and its towns will make this area an unforgettable place.

You can purchase the climbing guide – which, as you can imagine from the number of sectors, is quite large – at any of the climbing shops in Finalborgo. It is available in several languages, but not in Spanish.

For all your climbing needs, be sure to visit our online shop.


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